Economy

UK Bookstore Chain Parent Buys Barnes & Noble For $683M

UK Bookstore Chain Parent Buys Barnes & Noble For $683M”

According to a Bloomberg news article citing people familiar with the process, Barnes & Noble is nearing a deal to sell itself to Elliott Management, an American investment management firm.

Activist investment firm Elliott Management has agreed to pay $683 million to acquire major USA bookseller Barnes & Noble, the companies announced Friday. Under the terms of the deal, shareholders will receive $6.50 per share in cash for their Barnes & Noble stock, and the bookseller said that the agreement was the natural end result of its strategic alternatives review, which had been going on for roughly eight months. Elliott, run by the billionaire Paul Singer, has experience in the book business.

Waterstones has since gone on to acquire fellow book retailer Foyles. Under the deal, Waterstone's chief executive officer James Daunt will become CEO of Barnes & Noble.

Elliott was careful to note that "each bookseller will operate independently" - but added that "they will share a common CEO and benefit from the sharing of best practice between the companies". Along the way, it's weathered self-inflicted wounds and internal drama.

The company's Nook e-reader device was also a flop, never catching on in the way that Amazon's Kindle did.

Once the towering Goliath of the bookselling world, these days Barnes & Noble is getting dwarfed by primarily online competitors - particularly Amazon, which reportedly sells almost 50 percent of all new books. 11,809,222 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 642% from the previous session's volume of 1,592,097 shares.The stock last traded at $5.96 and had previously closed at $4.59.

James Daunt said: "Physical bookstores the world over face fearsome challenges from online and digital". We meet these with investment and with all the more confidence for being able to draw on the unrivalled bookselling skills of these two great companies.

At the time the company said that it had received "expressions of interest" from "multiple parties", including its Chairman Leonard Riggio, who founded the company in 1965.

Gurus with large holdings in Barnes & Noble include Lee Ainslie (Trades, Portfolio), Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio), Philippe Laffont (Trades, Portfolio) and Chuck Royce (Trades, Portfolio).



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